Music Ministry


The Music Program at Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church
Rives Cassel, Director
  • Encourages “full, conscious, and active participation” of the faithful in the Liturgy
    Cultivates participation through a liturgical music repertoire that builds on familiarity and encourages growth
    Assists the prayer of the community through music integrated into the liturgy, chosen to reflect the readings of the day and the liturgical season
    Encourages faith sharing through opportunities for service in specialized musical ministries, such as the choirs, cantors, and instrumentalists

  “Sing gratefully to God from your hearts
       in psalms, hymns, and inspired songs.”
                               (Colossians 3:16b)

 The Assembly  
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EACH OF US, as members of the body of Christ at Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church, provides an important ministry to each other through our “full, conscious, and active participation” in the prayers of the Mass, both spoken and sung.  It is an inspiring experience to be part of a large group of people raising their hearts and voices in enthusiastic prayer to the Lord, especially sung prayer. All members of the assembly are cordially invited and encouraged to join their voice into our prayer through song. An ancient proverb reminds us that those who sing, pray twice.
  
 
The Choirs
“O sing a new song to the Lord,
    sing to the Lord all the earth. 
                   O sing to the Lord, bless God’s name.” 
                          (Psalm 96:1-2) 
 

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Adult Choir
THE ADULT CHOIR serves God and the people of Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church through music at the 10:00am Sunday Mass and special occasions. Assisting “full, conscious, and active participation” by providing a foundation for the singing of the assembly, the choir also sings the verses in some of the responsorial music (music which includes parts for both the choir or cantor and the assembly), as well as music intended for choir alone.  This music includes a wide repertoire from both the past and present and from different musical styles.  The choir is open to all men and women of high school age and older who have a love for singing and can match pitches. Rehearsals are in the church every Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 8:30pm, September through June. If you are interested in joining the choir, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. after any parish weekend Mass or through the parish office.
 
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Children's Choir
A PARISH HILDREN’S CHOIR sings at the 4:00pm Christmas Eve Mass, at the 11:30am Mass on Passion/Palm Sunday, and on Easter. Like the adult choir, this group assists “full, conscious, and active participation” by providing a foundation for the singing of the assembly.  It also sings the verses in some of the responsorial music, as well as music intended for choir alone.
 
  
The Cantor Guild
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The volunteer cantors at all parish weekend and holy day Masses make up the CANTOR GUILD. The cantors have two primary responsibilities.  First, they encourage and assist the singing of the assembly, thus promoting “full, conscious, and active participation.”  Secondly, they sing the verses in responsorial music, such as the responsorial psalm, the gospel acclamation, and the communion song.  In order to fulfill this important ministry, cantors need singing ability, good pronunciation, and an inviting presence.  Individual rehearsals for learning and refining the music are planned in advance of scheduled Masses. Membership in the choir is not necessary, but is strongly encouraged. If you are interested in this important ministry, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. after any parish weekend Mass or through the parish office.
 

Other Opportunities

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Handbells and Orff Instruments

On certain occasions, volunteers are needed to play handbells and Orff instruments.  Groups are formed as needed.  If you would be interested in participating, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. after weekend parish Masses or through the parish office.

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Guitars and Orchestral Instruments

If you would be interested in volunteering as a guitarist or other instrumentalist at a Mass, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. after any parish weekend Mass or through the parish office.


THERE ARE OPENINGS IN ALL AREAS OF THE MUSIC PROGRAM.  JOIN UP TODAY!  PLEASE CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. AFTER ANY PARISH WEEKEND MASS OR THROUGH THE PARISH OFFICE.

 

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 RIVES CASSEL, DIRECTOR OF SACRED MUSIC

Rives Cassel is the Director of Sacred Music and Organist for Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church, a position he began in September 2006. He has served as a full-time liturgical musician for over 20 years, serving parishes in Virginia, Minnesota, and New Jersey.  As Director of Music and Organist at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Bayonne, NJ, he developed a volunteer cantor guild, directed choirs singing in English, Italian, and Spanish, as well as a children’s choir and bell choir.  As Director of Music and Organist of Holy Trinity Church in Westfield, NJ, he conducted the adult and children’s choirs, as well as a bell choir.  He was also artistic director for the Music at Holy Trinity Concert Series, presented by the Holy Trinity Choir and instrumental ensemble.  Also while in Westfield, he was twice chair of the Westfield Bach Festival and performed in the organ marathon.  As Director of Music and Organist at St. Raphael Church in Livingston, NJ, he conducted the adult and children’s choir.  He also taught general music at St. Agnes School in Clark, NJ for 10 years.

A native of Virginia, Rives received a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and a Master of Liturgical Music degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.  His organ teachers included David Boe and Robert Grogan.

Rives is a member of the Metropolitan New Jersey Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and will served as Convention Coordinator for the 2011 Regional Convention for Regions 1 and 2.  He has also served the chapter as Dean for four years, and as Sub-Dean and Newsletter Editor. He is also a member of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) and is a member of the Executive Board of the Newark chapter.

Rives served the Archdiocese of Newark as a member of the Papal Music Subcommittee and as a member of the Environment and Art Advisory Group.  He has presented workshops on choosing music for the season of Advent and Christmas and for the Easter Triduum and Easter Season, as well as the music portion of a workshop on planning the Triduum for the Archdiocese’s chapter of the NPM.  The summer of 2009 marked his fourth year as a teacher for the Newark NPM chapter’s Institute for Learning to Read Music. Since the spring of 2003, he has been a presenter for the Formation Program at Immaculate Conception Seminary of Seton Hall University.  His topic, presented to the Second Theology class, is Music at the Sacraments of Initiation.